Jonathan Klinsmann is well-used to questions about his famous father, but the son of former Germany, Bayern Munich and USMNT coach Jürgen is optimistic of making a name for himself at Hertha Berlin.

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The 20 year old, who is a student at Berkeley in California, has been offered a professional contract having started pre-season training with Pal Dardai's squad after Hertha contacted his dad at the recent FIFA Under-20 World Cup where Klinsmann played every minute of the Stars and Stripes' run to the quarter-finals.

"It’s a big club, a Europa League participant, essentially a club that you’d like to play for and whose level you’d like to reach. To learn from Rune [Jarstein] and Thomas [Kraft] and to play in the second team to get used to the level of play in the Bundesliga is a fantastic opportunity. It was a chance I had to take with both hands," said Klinsmann, who has previously had trials with West Ham United, Everton and one of his father's former clubs, Stuttgart.

"It’s a completely different level to in the USA. I arrived in Berlin a couple of days early to acclimatise. I trained with Ilja [Hofstädt, Hertha youth goalkeeping coach]. He helped me a lot and gave me a lot of tips for training with the senior team. The tempo with the seniors is noticeably higher than what I’m used to, but I think it has been going very well for me."

Klinsmann might not have been at the opposite end of the pitch to where his father starred, notably winning the 1990 FIFA World Cup and EURO '96 with Germany, but for a radical change of position during the fledgling stages of his career.

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"I used to play as a striker, but one day I ended up in goal. One of my friends at school said I should go in goal. I loved it straightaway. Then I started playing at home in the garden with my Dad. He was always firing shots in. I never liked it when he scored past me. It just went from there," said Klinsmann, whose world-famous father endorsed the switch.

"I think he was happy with my decision because it took the pressure off me a little. If I’d been a striker like my Dad, scorer of all those important goals, it would probably have been more difficult and there would have been more pressure on me."

His surname makes comparisons inevitable, however. At 1.92m, he has the rangy build of his dad, holds Jens Lehmann — whom his father made Germany number one ahead of Oliver Kahn for the 2006 FIFA World Cup — in high esteem, and admits a hatred of being late as his one stereotypical German trait.

Klinsmann trains with Hertha Berlin.

But having spoken English at home growing up in California, he is having to make up for lost time in regard to the language of his forefathers with his knowledge limited to what he picked up during a short spell in Bayern Munich's youth ranks while his father was first-team coach there in 2008/09.

His surname may have opened the door to the Bundesliga, but Klinsmann, who revealed he had turned down a contract offer from Eintracht Braunschweig to try his luck with Hertha, acknowledges it is now up to him to seize the opportunity as he does a football: with both hands.

"Compared to my Dad, I’ve achieved nothing or at least very little in my career so far," stated Klinsmann, whose grandfather, Siegfried, was born near Berlin and grew up a Hertha fan.

"It was an unbelievably emotional moment for me [when the contract offer came], because the club has a history in our family. I'm looking forward to everything with the club, with the city of Berlin and the challenge in Germany."

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